I’m often asked which networking is best (probably as I have been to so many events!). I will be honest, when I started my business, I went to everything that had networking in the title or the blurb – I was like a Z List Celebrity!
But it did give me the opportunity to try out lots of different types of networking, get my name out there, and find out which type of networking worked for me and my business (and also my lifestyle).
So, which is best?
Well, I can’t really say which is best for you, I can only tell you what works for me, and I don’t know if that’s the best for you – you will have to try them and see which ones fit.
I have now narrowed it down to 2 groups that I have become a member of and then some ad hoc networking as and when.
The 2 groups that work for me are 4Networking and The Business Network (links for more information on both groups are below).
Why do these groups work for me? Well one is a breakfast every 2 weeks, or more if I have time and want to attend other groups, it’s flexible in that respect and also offers flexible membership options. The other is a monthly event, over lunchtime, with flexibility to attend other locations if I can.
Neither is very expensive in my opinion, both offer the opportunity to pitch my services, collect business cards, and have open networking with other people in the room. I get a delegate list so I can follow up with people I didn’t get a chance to speak with at the meeting. Neither forces me to arrange a sub, or bring visitors and arrange referrals (although I can do this if I want and there are additional benefits to me if I do bring visitors). They are built on trust and knowing the others in that network.
These won’t work for everyone, and I know lots of business owners who attend many other different types of networking and achieve amazing results from them. It’s like buying a car – we don’t all drive the same one do we? We buy what we like and has the right spec for us.
Networking is exactly the same – you buy what you like and what fits.
The Business Network: